Books about Anguilla


Friday, 14 October 2011

“They Talk Stupid;” TIME TO REFOCUS!!!!

It is well within the right of every Anguillian to choose their affiliation and association! In recent years our people have become extremely enthusiastic about political talk and it seems that we are very motivated about political campaigning. The affiliation and or association with a particular organization or group are actually a good thing if it is known what the ideals and basic principles are that drive the concept, this type of association should contribute to a better frame of mind in our public discourse. The lacks of anticipation, especially within our political parties have created a less informed people and has caused serious division and a clear lack of astuteness in our conversation. It was the year 1992 I believe, the Association of Anguillian Citizens of St. Maarten received a report which indicated that Anguilla had a very high illiteracy rate compared to the rest of the region. Our association invited the Parliamentary Secretary Mr. David Carty to St. Marten to explain, and to give us his opinion on such a report. Mr. Carty indicated that such a report was probably an opinion of an organization but was not an official position of any recognized institution that the island relies on for data.

Such a report could well have been based on hypothesis because of some of our unscrupulous dialogue where facts escape the airwaves and viewpoints are smeared by partisan rhetoric. It is true that some of the conversation on the airwaves led by some uninformed hosts, or others are exactly partial in their point of view, hell bent on vigorously defending their party at all cost without pertinent contribution to the larger platform of public discourse, meanwhile probably creating unintentional damage in general. This has caused much unintentional severing of good personal relations and family feuds, but more so presented a very negative image, raising in some instances the question of literacy among our people. Just recently I was told by someone being resident on Anguilla for some years that they would soon be leaving the island, I inquired why? The person said to me I probably came to the island in the good times, I was very impressed and I guess I lost my enchantment, it could be because of the economic situation, but I find the people to be very simple minded, I asked by what measure? The person said they talk stupid! I asked are you saying that the people of Anguilla are stupid. The person said not really, but much of their conversation is really about nothing, you can listen to the talk shows and they talk very little that you can learn from or stimulate good wise discussions, the people are too political and they don’t even know what they are talking about.

This conversation helped to reset my mind and has caused me to refocus on the direction of the country. It is noticeable that many who call in on radio are actually unable to broaden the scope on the subject matter. We must find it necessary to enable our people to focus on what matters and not to engage in unsubstantiated claims and matters beyond our reach, and those who can indeed make a viable contribution should be part of the discourse. What we say, and in context present an image which transmits to understanding, this is the bedrock of literacy. It would probably do our talk show hosts well to change their format; instead of stimulating vague talk on matters of public interest, they should ensure that an expert is on hand to inform the people on these matters. 

Much is said of our politics as well, which seems to have no focus except to diminish one another. It is time our political leaders begin to think less about our past and commence the process of shaping the future of the country; this must begin with positive political leadership which focuses less on their party. The election of 2010 should be made our final, having the premise being the revolutionary period. We must see new leadership for the island that would lead the people first. My concept of the revolutionary period leads me to believe that our entire field of politicians is still beholding to the ideals and accomplishment of that period, the frame of mind, and reference do not permit us to envision new horizons. As a people, we have lived the primitive lifestyle and have lived hardship, we must shake off that stigma, our children are now privileged to be well educated, and we are a society that has excelled in all of the requirements that makes us a better country today, we must now refocus
on those values and attributes that present a well rounded society, this begins with appropriate political leadership with a vision for the country. We must refocus; commence the process of leading the country into the future, building a society of modern minds.

By Elliot J. Harrigan

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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – MLK.